Well, just when you thought it would never happen, as it does here, I’m thinking this is not gonna be a very long Rag. Of course, you know as soon as I say that, I usually take up more room than ever before. But I really do not feel that will be that case — the load is kinda light this time!

We’ll start with news on the Continental front — by the time you read this, tickets will be almost sold out for what I call the Labor Day weekend family reunion. This will be my 13th year in a row going. I’m always as excited as I was the first time just to see a truly fierce pageant and all the fierce formers I live for. The most recent qualifiers include Mercedes Alexander who won TN with runner-up Tulsi and Sasha Colby won Miss West Virginia. Windy City, here we come.

The movie “Pageant” which features, among others, Raleigh entertainers Victoria Parker and Coti Collins, is really racking up the accolades! The movie just won Best Feature Film at the NY GLBT Film Festival and Best Documentary and the Audience Award at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (which is reportedly the oldest and largest in the world, thank you). It screens here in the Tarheel State on Sat., Aug. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Carolina Theater in Durham, part of the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I feel a quick road trip coming on, as I must see that movie!

Did anyone get to see Tasha Long on “America’s Got Talent” a few weeks ago? That sister was painted and doing some Dionne, but I don’t think they were ready for all that glamour. Her costume was exquisite. I need to touch base with Alyssa Edwards again to see how far her dance team made it in that competition as well.

Have any of you had the chance to check out the dating game with post-op transsexual Calpernia Adams on the LOGO channel? I have a friend who is supposed to be recording it for me. I certainly hope they are. I have fond memories of the year I judged Calpernia at the national EOY contest when she made finals. Such a sweet, talented queen. Of course, you know she went on to be the co-subject of the movie “Soldier Boy” and she made a guest appearance in “Transamerica” which starred Felicity Huffman. She was fiddling away, as usual.

I recently got some lovely news — Kerri Nichols, our Miss Gay America 1996, is doing the make-up for “Side Show” here in town at the McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. This is the show that was on Broadway for a while about the “original” Hilton sisters (and conjoined twins) from right here in Charlotte. You better paint, bitch! We’ll see you at Miss NC America at the end of August! I understand that Kymber Raines will be making an appearance, along with Todd (whom we loved and cherished as Blair Williams) and maybe even a Diana Lee Bishop. Oh, the hits just keep coming and coming, boys and girls.

And speaking of prelims to Miss Gay America, the two most recent include Miss Mid-Atlantic which former Miss NC Miss D. Meaner won with RU Sierra Leone (also an NC queen) and Western States which China Collins won with RU Jessica Deveraux. On the EOY scene, Trinity Taylor is the new Miss Alabama with RU Genesis; Miss Louisiana Fleur de Lis is Bianca Nichole with RU Sy’ria Sinclaire; and Miss Ohio is Amber Stone with RU Bella Dolce.

Locally, we just have one contest that’s taken place that I know about — another Zodiac production over at Night Owls in Gastonia. Orlando Chanel won Miss Gemini. Her RU was Carmendy.

The next time we meet, I’ll tell you all about my trip to Dallas, TX to see Layla LaRue and Kelexis Davenport give up their TX FFI/at Large titles. (And maybe a tale of a dark-skinned muchacho, if I’m lucky).

info: Drop me a line, OK? . The TeaMissD@yahoo.com